Why You Don’t Have Writer’s Block (Day 11)

Not writing is the worst thing to do as a writer

I am now in day 11 of this blogging challenge I’ve set up for myself. It has surprised me that I’ve been finding things to write about everyday. A wise man once said to me, “There is not such thing as writer’s block. There is only the failure to write.”

A friend recommended a good podcast interview with author Gregg Hurwitz. He gets at the same thing by saying that writers are so afraid to spit out a garbage draft of a novel that it is why most of them never start.

This seems to be a thing in almost every creative endeavor. In Creativity, Inc. it is stated that even first drafts of Pixar movies are always terrible. And then they get molded into something else, often completely separate from the original.

We seem to think of writing like it’s a block of marble, as if we only have one chance to get it right. But it’s much more like gathering the materials up to begin with. The first draft is you giving yourself something to work with. It’s like doing all of the ugly parts of yard work. It’s mowing and hedging and breaking up the dirt and planting the vegetable seeds and flower buds. The editing part is the fun part of writing, when you start to see it look nice.

It’s like sweeping the lawn clippings and cleaning the dirt of the edges of the raised beds of your garden and making sure the flower buds are all lined up. But you have to do the mowing and digging and fertilizing first.

Perhaps the greatest fear is that you’ll put in all this work and find nothing of value in all the time you spent writing in the first place. But that shouldn’t be a concern either. You will never write a draft of something that has nothing of value or use later on. I can certainly guarantee you of that. Even if it means that you use the draft as a jumping off point for something completely different.

“It may seem redundant to say that the most important thing you must do as a writer is to write, but most important thing you must do as a writer is to writer,” said the writer to himself.

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